Taking up residence in the former Kenichi spot, this Fort Worth export surprises in its refreshingly low-key approach to decor, achieving what we’d call “classy Western”—no, it’s not an oxymoron—with banquettes covered in ivory cowhide, artfully placed antlers, and majestic taxidermy lit like oil paintings. The sound track is Johnny Cash–cool, the service warmly professional, and the food, well, a bit dull, with little of the spark and bravado one might expect from the likes of Tim “Vanity Plate” Love. At least that was the case with the appetizers (helpfully labeled first and second courses in case you go getting any ideas): dry cornbread (gratis, thankfully) embedded with solid cubes of cold cheddar cheese; $4 quarter-size hamachi tostadas (what would be an amuse elsewhere); a salad of shaved root vegetables notable for a limp monotony unbroken by a smoked-tomato vinaigrette or nuggets of blue cheese. But just when we’d about given up hope came our entrées, a buttery-rich slab of crispy-skinned striped bass and a bowl of posole brimming with lamb and brisket, redolent of rusty red chiles, and enriched with Manchego and a golden egg yolk. So it seems LD just needs some more time to get comfortable. Note that the noise gets bigger and the cologne gets thicker as the evening wears on.
Cuisine: New American